BASF breaks ground on syngas plant at Zhanjiang Verbund site in China

BASF breaks ground on syngas plant at Zhanjiang Verbund site  in China

BASF has commenced construction of its syngas plant at the Verbund site in Zhanjiang, China. This world-scale syngas facility, fully integrated into the Verbund site, is scheduled to start up in 2025, said the company.

BASF will adopt unique process concepts in the syngas plant to reduce carbon emissions compared to conventional syngas plants, contributing to BASF’s sustainability goals.

The state-of-the-art facility will produce syngas and hydrogen for captive use within BASF’s production Verbund. The production technologies deployed in the syngas plant will mainly utilize CO2 off-gas, a by-product of the ethylene oxide process and excess fuel gas from steam cracker operations, to manufacture syngas. “The technical concept of this syngas plant is the first of its kind in China, underscoring our commitment to achieving climate neutrality by 2050. Compared to other technologies, these innovative process technologies help to reduce the Zhanjiang Verbund site’s direct CO2 emissions and particularly lower the carbon footprint of our oxo and ethylene oxide products,” said Bir Darbar Mehta, Senior Vice President of Petrochemicals Asia Pacific at BASF.

Besides the above-mentioned raw materials, the syngas plant can utilize further feedstocks, ensuring more reliable production. Electricity will be supplied by the site-wide grid which is expected to be powered with 100% renewable energy by 2025.

We remind, BASF, Huntsman and their Chinese partners in the joint venture Shanghai Lianheng Isocyanate Co (SLIC) complete the planned separation of their joint MDI production in Caojing. The two MDI (diphenylmethane diisocyanate) plants at the Caojing site in China will be operated independently by the two companies in the future. Huntsman, together with Shanghai Chlor-Alkali Chemical, and BASF, together with Shanghai Hua Yi (Group company) and Sinopec Shanghai Gaoqiao Petrochemical, will each take over one of the MDI plants.

Sabic to sell steel subsidiary Hadeed to Saudi sovereign wealth fund

Sabic to sell steel subsidiary Hadeed to Saudi sovereign wealth fund

MRC --Saudi Basic Industries Corp said it had agreed to sell subsidiary Saudi Iron and Steel Company (Hadeed) to the Public Investment Fund (PIF) for an enterprise value of 12.5 billion riyals (USD3.33 bn), said the company.

The transaction is expected to close before the end of the first quarter of 2024, and proceeds from the sale will be used to support SABIC's growth in the chemicals industry, according to a company statement to the stock exchange.

The final sale price will be disclosed closer to the completion date. SABIC, one of the world's biggest petrochemical companies, reported a massive slump in its second-quarter net profit on lower average sales prices and weaker demand. It said it wants to focus on core businesses as the rationale for the divestment.

The fair valuation of Hadeed's net assets is expected to result in a non-cash loss of between 2 to 2.5 billion riyals in Q3 earnings, SABIC said.

We remind, Saudi Arabia's Yanbu National Petrochemical Company (Yansab) said the temporary shutdown of its plants, which started on August 14, 2023, will continue for another 11 days. Currently, the necessary repairs are being carried out to resolve the technical glitch, Yansab said in a statement to the Saudi stock exchange on Monday. The petrochemical company is a subsidiary of the Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC).

Tredegar to sell polyester films business to Oben Group

Tredegar to sell polyester films business to Oben Group

Global plastic films and aluminium extrusions manufacturer Tredegar has agreed to sell its flexible packaging films business, Terphane, to Oben Group affiliates, said Packaging-gateway.

Terphane’s sale has been finalised for a net debt-free base consideration of USD116m. Headquartered in Brazil’s Sao Paulo, Terphane exports to nearly 29 countries, with its manufacturing facilities located in Cabo de Santo Agostinho, Brazil and Bloomfield, New York.

Currently, Terphane employs around 500 people. Tredegar anticipates realising USD85m in after-tax cash proceeds from the completion of this transaction, after subtracting expected withholding taxes by Brazil, escrow funds and US capital gains taxes.

However, Tredegar said that this estimated actual after-tax proceeds “may differ” at the conclusion of deal. This difference can be due to possible changes in deductions during “potentially lengthy interim period”, expected to range between 8 and 14 months, before the closing date.

Tredegar president and CEO John Steitz said: “We believe that purchase by Oben of Terphane will enhance scale and growth opportunities in keenly competitive global flexible packaging market.” Completion of this deal is now subject to the fulfilment of some customary conditions, including clearance from competition authorities in Brazil and Colombia.

Tredegar’s financial advisor and the US corporate counsel for this transaction were JP Morgan Securities and Hunton Andrews Kurth, respectively.

We remind, SK Innovation has become the first in the oil refining industry to complete a Life Cycle Assessment (hereafter, LCA) for its entire oil-petrochemical related products. The company aims to strengthen its response to domestic and international clients who are increasingly focused on ESG evaluation standards, and plans to utilize the findings for process improvement data.

Dow partners with Qifan Cable to drive offshore wind power development

Dow partners with Qifan Cable to drive offshore wind power development

Dow, a global materials science company, and Shanghai Qifan Cable Co., Ltd. (Qifan Cable) have signed a strategic Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) at Wire China 2023, said the company.

In the coming years, the two parties intend to jointly engage in developing innovative solutions for submarine cables, to support development of offshore wind power that will accelerate the global energy transition to renewable sources.

Under this cooperation, Dow would deliver ENDURANCE™ compounds used in the insulation of Qifan Cable's HVAC and HVDC submarine cables. Produced under superior cleanliness standards, ENDURANCE™ HFDD-4201SC enables high performance and longevity of the HVAC submarine cable for greater reliability. Moreover, it provides good degassing time and scorch resistance that results in production efficiency and shorter manufacturing cycles. For HVDC systems, ENDURANCE™ HFDB-4401UDC enables long-run performance and increased operating temperatures of up to 90°C.

According to the International Energy Agency's Electricity Market Report 2023, renewables' share of the power generation mix worldwide is set to rise from 29% to 35% by 2025, and offshore wind power is expected to grow rapidly as a predominant source of power generation that will support the global transition to less carbon-intensive and more sustainable energy systems.

"In response to the global energy transition, Dow has introduced a series of high-performance solutions that support emerging needs in sustainable energy sources such as offshore wind power," said Bambang Candra, Asia Pacific Commercial Vice President of Dow Packaging and Specialty Plastics, "This partnership with Qifan Cable represents the full recognition of Dow's submarine cable products, and at the same time, it also helps us advance our manufacturing operations. We continue to improve our product innovation to suit varying application needs while expanding cooperation with industry partners, to support the realization of global decarbonization goals."

Mr. Zhou Guihua, Chairman of Qifan Cable said, "In the field of submarine cable materials, Dow has industry-leading innovation capabilities and cutting-edge product technologies. Through our solid alliance with Dow, it will further strengthen our competitive advantage in the submarine cable market and promote closer cooperation in the value chain. We are delighted to drive the development of offshore wind power with Dow."

Through expertise in materials science, Dow works closely with partners like Qifan Cable to optimize efficiency in operations and accelerate renewable energy growth, enabling a lower-carbon economy that is essential in addressing climate change and achieving a sustainable future.

We remind, North American chemical railcar traffic rose 3.4% year on year to 46,174 loadings in the week ended 26 August, led by a 12.2% increase in Canada, according to the latest freight rail data of Association of American Railroads. For the first 34 weeks of 2023 ended 26 August, North American chemical rail traffic was down 2.2% year on year to 1,538,612 - with the US down 3.6% to 1,057,632 loadings.

Australian states ban single-use plastic items from 1 September

Australian states ban single-use plastic items from 1 September

Western Australia (WA), Queensland and South Australia (SA) have imposed ban on a range of single-use plastic items starting from 1 September 2023, as per Packaging-gateway.

Each state has applied ban on different single-use items. However, a common item that has been banned across all three regions is plastic stemmed cotton buds.

The Queensland government has banned expanded polystyrene loose packaging, including ‘peanuts’ style fill foam and plastic microbeads in rinseable personal care and cleaning products. Circulation of heavyweight plastic shopping bags and outdoor release of lighter-than-air balloons has also been prohibited in Queensland.

Non-woven plastic shopping bags with thickness of 35 microns or more will now be required to pass reusability tests for 125 uses, while non-compostable plastic shopping bags must contain at least 80% recycled content. Queensland Environment and the Great Barrier Reef Minister Leanne Linard said: “Along with single-use plastic ban, we have also introduced a Container Refund Scheme allowing individuals, charities, and community groups to receive a 10c refund when they return an eligible glass, metal or plastic drink container to a container refund point.”

The WA government has outlawed loose fill expanded polystyrene packaging, plastic microbeads, expanded polystyrene cups and degradable plastics that can break into fragments. From February, the government said it provided a six-month transition period to all the local businesses to use up their available supplies and prepare alternatives to replace them.

The government is also banning some additional items, including plastic produce bags for fruit and vegetables, non-compostable plastic takeaway coffee cups, unlidded trays and plastic lids for takeaway food packs, such as bowls, plates, cups, trays and containers.

All these items have transition period ranging from 12 to 28 months. The final enforcement date is on 1 July 2025.

We remind, Technip Energies, a leading engineering and technology company for the energy transition, and Versalis, Eni's chemical company, have signed an agreement aimed at integrating Versalis' Hoop and Technip Energies' Pure.rOilTM and Pure.rGasTM purification technologies by developing a technological platform for the advanced chemical recycling of plastic waste.